Posted: Tuesday, 13 November 2012 | By: SiteAdmin
"Many pet owners include their animals in the festivities, from taking photos with Santa and dressing them up, to buying them gifts for Christmas."
The economic recession doesn't tend to have much of an impact on pet product sales, as many budget-minded pet owners choose to cut back on other expenses than reduce their pet care budget, he says.
Australia has one of the highest incidences of pet ownership in the world with 33 million pets and generating nearly $7.9 billion in revenue across all sectors, including healthcare, food and toys.
Popular pet products
"New innovative pet products are always coming out, which many pet owners get excited about, especially if it caters to a need that hasn't been met for their animal," says Mr Westaway, who is also Director of Pet Barn Nerang in Queensland.
As far as Christmas sales go, dogs and cats are predominantly the largest part of the market with toys, treats and grooming equipment popular items to put under the Christmas tree.
"The reptile sector of the pet industry is also growing so this year we expect to see a rise in sales (of reptile care equipment)," he says.
A variety of new holistic dry foods (with no preservatives, no grains and gluten free) are also entering the market to meet demands of pet owners who are concerned about what their pets are eating, where the food comes from and what's in it, adds Mr Westaway.
2012 Outstanding Innovations Awards
At the annual PIAA Pet Expo (Gold Coast, Qld) held in October, six pet products took out an Outstanding Innovations Award in their category, expected to attract great interest from pet owner shoppers this Christmas.
• Bird category: Avimec from Vetafarm
• Small animal category: 'Origins' Small Animal Range from Vetafarm
• Reptile category: Display Terrarium from Ipetz
• Cat category: FroliCat™ BOLT™ from Dr Neil's
• Dog category: Streetstrider from Freelance Pet Rep
• Aquaria category: Lumi'Q from Pet Pacific
To be eligible for entry in the competition, products have to be new and released to the industry three months prior or following the Expo. Entries were judged by Expo attendees.
"All winners were worthy recipients as the products were innovative and in some cases filled a gap in the marketplace where there wasn't a satisfactory product beforehand," says Mr Westaway.
The pet industry is continuously introducing new designs and inventions to make pets happy and, let's face it, spoiled rotten.
"It amazes me each year the amount of pre-packed Christmas (pet product) packages we sell that goes under the tree with the kids' presents. Our pets are lucky," he says.
Download the Media Release here
Find out about each winning product from the 2012 Outstanding Innovations Awards
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